Thursday, December 7, 2023

Erick Thohir Expresses Readiness to Run for Veep 

Hendro Situmorang
July 1, 2023 | 2:43 pm
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State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir delivers a speech at a ceremony to launch Indonesia Incorporated at Far East Finance Center, Hong Kong, Friday, June 30, 2023. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)
State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir delivers a speech at a ceremony to launch Indonesia Incorporated at Far East Finance Center, Hong Kong, Friday, June 30, 2023. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)

Jakarta. As the political landscape continues to evolve, State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir said on Saturday he is ready to contest as a running mate for the 2024 presidential election but added that he’s not in excessive need of attention to become a nominee.

Erick also underlined that his potential political career will depend on advice from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who entrusted him with many crucial tasks in the past such as leading the organizing committee for the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 presidential campaign team, before asking the businessman to join the cabinet.

“I am standing with President Jokowi and I’m following him as my guide. It means if there’s a chance to build this nation with him still around, I will [take] that opportunity,” Erick said in a statement.

Nevertheless, Erick clarified that his intentions do not revolve around seeking admiration or self-promotion. He stated that he is ready to contribute to the country, whether it is within or outside of the government.

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The National Mandate Party, of PAN, has tried publicly to nominate Erick as a running mate for either Ganjar Pranowo or Prabowo Subianto.

But Erick said his nomination isn’t far from being firm because the law requires a party or a coalition of parties to have 20 percent of House of Representatives seats to nominate candidates.

Furthermore, he said he will turn down a request to become a running mate if there’s no clear agenda for making Indonesia a better nation from today.

“What’s the point in having political power if it misleads the country? I won’t be part of such a deal and I would rather be outside of the government,” he said.

“But when there’s a grand agreement with concrete indicators about the goals for the future, we can sit and talk. It’s a shame for the country if everything is about power.”

A survey by Saiful Mujani Research Centre in May indicated that Erick is the strongest candidate to become a running mate for Ganjar, the frontrunner in most polls who is nominated by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

But Erick said it remains too premature to discuss the possibility of his nomination until there’s a written agreement among political parties.

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